Dialysis patients commend gov’t for treatment being offered at GPHC

Government, through the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is providing the needed support for dialysis patients and those in urgent need of kidney transplants.

March is designated National Kidney Month and the GPHC today hosted a press conference, where dialysis patients and the first patient, who received a kidney transplant at the facility, were present to share their experiences at the institution.

Dr. Bolan Persaud, surgeon attached to the Nephrology and Kidney Transplant Department, GPHC

The first patient to receive the kidney transplant at the hospital is 33-year-old, Keron Hardial, who explained that he had a successful transplant in September, 2015. Hardial said he was on dialysis for nine months before going into surgery, which he related was not an easy journey.

“Being on dialysis is not easy and I would like to encourage all dialysis patients to keep their head up and hang in there. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and transplant is possibly the only reason that you could get a better health so there’s no point in giving up when you go through so much of dialysis,” he said.

Keron Hardial, the first patient receive a kidney transplant at the GPHC

He further explained that his life after the kidney transplant has been ‘pretty good’ as there were no side effects following the operation.

Meanwhile, surgeon attached to the Nephrology and Kidney Transplant Department, Dr. Bolan Persaud said, “if persons are able to control their diabetes and blood pressure, they will be able to keep their kidneys functioning.”

He was speaking during a press conference at the GPHC boardroom on Friday.

The doctor said a person’s kidney after a transplant can last for years depending on the efforts of that person to live a healthy life.

Diet given to persons on dialysis

“We had three patients whose disease would have recurred in their transplant…doing a transplant we always try to explain this to the transplant patients that, yes despite transplant is the best treatment for the kidney failure it gives you a better quality of life, this kidney can last one day, it can last one week…it can last 15 years all based on how you take care for it,” Dr. Persaud said.

He noted that the hospital is currently working on getting a transplant lab to facilitate cross-matching for patients.

Gilian Mahago, a 39-year-old dialysis patient related her experience with the treatment since November last year and said her motivation, “is just keep a positive mind and try not to think about anything that would keep you down.”

Dialysis patient, Gilian Mahago and her husband

Mahago, who also lost her sight to due to lupus said, “I don’t see but I talk to patients at our centre in Berbice and they say it’s really expensive for them…I’m not talking on my behalf alone, but in general it’s really expensive to do dialysis so if the Government could give us it free would be a great help.”

According to Senior Registrar Nephrologist, Dr. Haimchand Barran, there are approximately 200 dialysis patients being treated in private dialysis centre and about 15 in the public hospital.

He further noted that, “70 percent of our patients approximately [with diabetes] end up with kidney disease and about half of those end up on dialysis.”

In this regard, he is urging persons with diabetes to get a checkup with their doctors at least once annually, to ensure their kidneys are properly functioning.

The doctor explained that it is possible to reverse kidney failures if detected in the early stage, therefore it is important for persons to know their diabetic status as early as possible so that it can be monitored.

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